1920 - 1990

"Fit for Every Day" - Fashion through the Ages

German Federal Archives

Photos from the German Federal Archives

Skirts are getting shorter, lingerie more elegant, patterns more colorful… men are wearing hats and women bobs, the trench coat gives way to the camping outfit. Be it work, leisure, or evening wear, fashion continuously adjusts to the requirements of daily life. The exhibition “Fit for Every Day” demonstrates this change through a selection of images from the German Federal Archives' collection of photographs.
We are ready for spring!

New fashion for vacations on the Riviera: pretty dress with hat, complemented with decorative grape embellishment, 1929.

New design from “Bekleidungswerke Fortschritt”, worn here without bolero, 1950.

Camping outfit: pastel-colored camping suit in cotton gabardine, lined, with or without lapel, 1956.

Two stylish designs (the young ladies think so too!): dress in starched viscose with longer waist and lightly pleated skirt and diagonal panels on the collar and skirt (left); embossed dress with split waistline and lightly pleated skirt (right), 1956.

Bathing season is here!

City slickers enjoy their vacations on the Baltic Sea with beach pajamas and matching parasols, 1926.

The new “Bansin” design – a one-piece, stylishly printed bathing costume with casual beach jacket – is introduced at the Leipzig Autumn Fair, 1961.

From casual to elegant

Fashion in Berlin, 1937

Tear-proof? These new men’s trousers withstand the test, 1938.

Stepping out in evening elegance: "Boheme” design by the Hassenstein company, priced at 80.00 DM, 1950.

Who is this gentleman waiting for? For his appointment he wears a single-breasted transitional coat in carded wool with diagonal welt pocket, 1956.

Picking up the daily newspaper on the way to work; worsted wool suit in Pepita pattern. Offered in gray-blue, gray-green and gray-pink in stores, 1957.

For their walk in the park, this couple wear pieces from the Berlin Institute for the Clothing Industry's new collection: “Neapel” day dress and “Oliv” camping suit with four buttons and short yokes, 1957.

Fashion for the cooler autumn days: The casually cut coats in diol cotton gabardine are fashioned in dolphin blue for ladies and beige for men. The inside of the coat is fitted with a removable Politex quilted lining, 1964.

Youth fashion: Knee breeches and hooded tunics in check pattern with lace fastening and casual men’s leisure outfit, 1972.

Fashion developed by computer: Both designs based on the “Shanty” pattern, developed at “Kombinat Oberbekleidung Berlin”, 1986.

Hats, stockings, corsetry

New nylon stockings? Stocking collection being critically examined. It's not that easy to get an even color tone when manufacturing nylon stockings, 1951.

Temperatures are dropping, the days are getting shorter, and ladies are interested in the new fall designs in millinery stores. “Isn't this new hat chic?”, 1954.

Bare in mind, a matching hat goes hand in hand with an elegant tweed suit, 1957.

Ladies examining lingerie items in the display window of a specialty store, 1959.

On the road

Enjoying a Sunday outing wearing the elegant “Braunschweig” showcase design – a four-piece suit consisting of a black sweater, steel-blue waistcoat, skirt and jacket, 1955.

This lady, a motorsport enthusiast, is wearing tartan culottes in carded wool with ironed-in pleats in red, black and gray, combined with a reversible waistcoat in red and black cotton poplin, 1957.

Casual “Pitty" design, a shirt dress with culottes and ruched back, buttoned from top to bottom. Driving in this is really fun!

Young fashion: Black, wrap-around blouse in synthetic silk, paired with red culottes, 1990.

Credits: Story

image no. 102 - Aktuelle-Bilder-Centrale, Georg Pahl
image no. 183 - Allgemeiner Deutscher Nachrichtendienst - Zentralbild

text- and image selection: Manuela Lange, Bundesarchiv

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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